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Once a foregone conclusion, extended eligibility of spring athletes now in question

Things have changed dramatically in recent days on this issue.

2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Baseball Super Regional: Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Once all sports were canceled officially, many speculated that spring athletes (track, baseball, softball, rowing, lacrosse, etc.) would likely receive an additional year of eligibility to compensate for their lost season. Especially for seniors, having this season taken away can have a major impact on their future. Early on, it seemed like the NCAA was on board with this movement.

However, according to Dennis Dodd over at CBS Sports, a source told him that this entire situation has gone “sideways.” Projections have shown that retaining this group of seniors for another year would cost each member institution between $500,000 - $900,000.

In a year where everything is uncertain, it is difficult to plan for increased funding. That was highlighted when news came out that the NCAA has $225 million to give out to member schools this year, less than half of the projection of $600 million they would have had if the NCAA basketball tournament had taken place.

Many believe that all of this financial uncertainty will cause NCAA Council members to vote against the extended year of eligibility. The council is made up of 40 representatives from member schools, and every conference is represented.

The vote was originally scheduled for Monday, but could be pushed back given this new information that needs to be processed and discussed, both at individual schools and at the council level.

We may know by the end of the week about the eligibility of these athletes. Keep in mind that this vote only impacts Division I athletes as Division II has already voted to grant seniors an additional year of eligibility.

Read Dodd’s piece over on CBS Sports for more detailed information about the decisions these schools are being faced with. You can find his story here.